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New Years’ Hangover

It has been a day and a half since I left Orlando and the Potato Expo and I'm still suffering from an informational overload hangover. From the trade show to the seminars, meeting new contacts and touching base with old friends, so much t do so little time to do it in.

As I sit here writing this column on a sunny Friday morning, with the thermometer registering 3 F, the one message that I came away with from Orlando is the need for potato growers to be innovative and aggressively market their own produce.

In this time of declining consumption and increasing yields per acre it's going to be the grower who recognizes what the consumer wants and adjusts accordingly that is going to survive.

Bouchey Potatoes, out of Wapato, Wash., our cover story, is a prime example of growers who are meeting consumers desires. Jody and Steve Bouchey have successfully developed a wholesale and retail demand for farm fresh varieties.

All was not doom and gloom during at the Expo. Despite the 10-year decline in fresh potato consumption the pervasive attitude was the industry can survive and weather the decline if growers will better manage crop production. If they continue to over produce then the industry will continue to see inadequate GRIs.

Speaking of weather, I tell you the potato industry gets no respect from Mother Nature. You go to Orlando, you expect a couple days of warm sunshine and all of Florida is blanketed by a cold snap. But even the memory of that cold snap seems warm compared to the 6 degrees my thermometer is reading this morning

Just the same, the days are getting longer and the sun has begun its northern journey. It won't be long before those frozen fields will be thawing out and a new season begins. I hope 2010 and Mother Nature smiles on your prospects.


Originally posted Monday, Feb. 8, 2010

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